• Treasurer Zweifel touts saving for college

    Zweifel at Clay Elem
    State Treasurer Clint Zweifel visited Clay Elementary School last Wednesday to discuss higher education and to celebrate College Savings Month. Photo by Wiley Price / St. Louis American

    Posted: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 9:53 pm

    By American staff

    Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel is touring elementary schools around the state as part of College Savings Month. Last Wednesday he visited Clay Elementary School in the St. Louis Public School District, where he spoke to third, fourth and fifth grade students, challenging them to think about what they want to be when they grow up and working on a plan to obtain the skills and education they need to make that dream a reality.

    Zweifel also spoke about MOST – Missouri’s 529 College Savings Plan – which this month is sponsoring a poster contest in which two lucky grand prize winners will receive a $1,500 contribution in to a MOST 529 account.

    “Every child dreams of the future, and as a parent of two girls I understand the desire we all have to help them achieve those dreams,” Zweifel said.

    “But whether your child wants to be a mechanic, teacher, doctor or an astronaut, starting conversations early about what your child wants to be can help them understand the skills they need to obtain to be successful in that field. These talks are a great way to begin planning and remind parents the importance of saving early and saving often. A child’s dream may change, but your investment in their future can be there ready for whatever path they choose.”

    During the month of September, K-5 students will have a chance to compete for one of two grand prize $1,500 MOST 529 accounts. To win, students must draw a picture depicting what they want to be when they grow up. Winners will be chosen for a grade K-2 age group and a grade 3-5 group.

    After the grand prize winners are chosen, MOST will nominate 10 posters for a “people’s choice award” in each age group. Facebook users will have a chance to go to MOST 529’s Facebook page and vote on their favorite. The people’s choice winners will each win $529 contributions to a MOST 529 account. Complete instructions for the contest are available at MissouriMost.org.

     “This contest is a great way to support a child’s creativity while helping families prepare for higher education,” Zweifel said. “I am proud of the MOST 529 plan, the growth and options it provides Missouri families. $1,500 is a big boost to any family’s higher education savings effort.”

    More than $2 billion is invested in MOST 529 Direct Plan accounts by more than 129,000 account owners, both an all-time high. To learn more about MOST 529, visit MissouriMost.org or call 888-414-MOST (888-414-6678). The MOST 529 plan offers federal and state tax benefits, low costs and flexible ways to contribute.

    In addition to visiting Clay Elementary, Zweifel visited St. Louis Community College - Florissant Valley for a roundtable discussion with students and administrators about the transition from high school to postsecondary education. Florissant Valley utilizes the Gateway to College program, through which students at risk of not graduating high school have a chance to earn college credit while working toward their diploma.

    “We know the demand for higher education continues to grow, and by building partnerships between community colleges and high schools we can provide our students with the options and training they need to meet those demands,” Zweifel said.

    “Not every student will obtain a four-year degree and not every job requires it, so it is critical for students to have the resources they need to explore every option for higher education. Community colleges are uniquely positioned to do just that and I am proud to see the growth of programs like Gateway to College succeed.”